ATP Mexican Open: Andy Murray beats Gilles Simon to reach semi-finals
Andy Murray reached the semi-finals of the Acapulco Open with a 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victory over Frenchman Gilles Simon.
Last Updated: 01/03/14 8:39am
Simon served for the match in the second set but British No 1 Murray fought back to force a tie-break, then raced through the third set as Simon appeared to be hampered by an injury.
Murray had started poorly before finding his stride in his previous two matches and he again struggled to find his rhythm against a player he had beaten in each of their last 11 meetings.
The Scot could not get his first serve going and Simon took full advantage as he won 11 of 14 second-serve points to easily claim the opening set.
Murray broke at the start of the second set but from 2-1 down, Simon won three games in a row to put himself 4-2 up and two games away from victory, as his opponent had no answer to his deep and powerful groundstrokes.
In game seven, Murray began to establish his return, and with the help of a couple of favourable net cords - as well as some Simon errors - he broke to put the set back on serve.
Again Simon broke back for a 5-3 lead, but serving for the match he was broken to love, Murray bringing up three break points with a stunning return winner then converting at the first attempt.
This time Murray held confidently and the set marched towards a tie-break.
Simon got the early mini-break but Murray battled back to take the advantage and the Frenchman's weakness at the net helped Murray bring up two set points - he converted the first when the world No 23 went wide.
Simon called for a medical time-out after the opening game of the third set, receiving treatment to his upper body, and was promptly broken to go 2-0 down.
Murray slipped while leading 4-2, but showed no ill effects as he won a 44-shot rally then held to put him within a game of a victory which came when Simon dumped another volley into the net on match point.
The semi-final will be Murray's first since winning Wimbledon last year and he will take on Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov after the fourth seed defeated Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5.
Top-seed David Ferrer was forced to retire in his quarter-final against South Africa's Kevin Anderson due to injury.
World No 3 Ferrer was leading 6-2 2-2 when he suffered an inner thigh strain in his left leg.
After seeking treatment in the locker room, the Spaniard returned to the court but lost the next two points before calling it a day.
Anderson will now play Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov, who defeated Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-4 7-6 (7-4).